Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Snowy Collection of Beauty

My treasury was featured on Etsy Treasury Hunter! Believe it or not it's snowing in Maryland today! We are supposed to get 4-6 inches. The kids are having a great time already playing and sledding. I'm happy to be inside and working on jewelry in my studio. Perfect day!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Custom Photo Silver Bracelets!

I am very excited about my latest personalized jewelry offering! I now offer Custom Photo Silver Bracelets.  I create every fine silver custom photo transfer bracelet as a special order. Each 7/8 inch square silver frame is handcrafted, antiqued and polished to a perfect shine.

Pictured above is a special order that I created for a customer who purchased the bracelet as a gift for her mother. She used her own photos to make the gift personal and special.

You can select 6 photos or scanned personal artwork of your choice and I will create your own custom bracelet. This is a great gift idea for Mom's, friends or you! You can also take advantage of the wonderful artwork your children create and use their images to create a one of a kind bracelet. It's amazing how wonderful children's art looks when scanned and transferred to the silver. The photo transfer process permanently adheres the photos and artwork to the silver.

The back side of each frame has a silver heart. A sterling silver toggle clasp finishes off the bracelet. The bracelet length is 7 1/2 inches long. The length can be customized to a different size upon request.

This is a perfect Holiday gift. I need about 10 -14 days for delivery once I receive your photos in a jpeg file format. So, now is the time to start looking through your photos and artwork!

"Art is magic to me." by Madi

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Spark of Motivation

A motivating day today. I listened to a great podcast on The Creative Coconuts that introduced me to the teachings of Joesph Campbell. Why I've never heard of this amazing man, I'll never know. During the podcast Marisa and Sean discussed a new Film called Finding Joe. Here is the trailer of the movie:
The movie is only being released in select cities right now. I can't wait until it comes out on DVD. I also spent part of my day watching the documentary about Joseph Campbell's life called The Hero's Journey. What a incredibly intelligent and interesting man. As you can see I was feeling quite motivated about all this and it all spilled over into my Sketchbook. I created the background for the pages using my new favorite drawing tool, Derwent Inktense Pencils. I love them! They are amazing water color pencils that when wet create a permanent ink vivid translucent effect. Here are a few more photo's of my pages:

Last week I was really into drawing with charcoal and graphic pencils. Here is a look at the forest I got lost in while I was drawing:

I hope you find a spark of motivation somewhere today.

"Breathing out is emptying your mind. Breathing in is filling your mind with new thoughts." by Madi

Monday, October 17, 2011

I did it!

I started my sketchbook! Really exciting. Feel lots better after actually taking pen to paper. Hope you are having a creative day!

"Exciting thing are also exciting for others." by Madi

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I'm afraid

The Scream by Edvard Munch
So this is how I feel when I look at my new really white sketchbook. I signed up for The Sketchbook Project 2012 which looks like so much fun,but I'm afraid of this...
My Sketchbook Day 1
Look how white and blank it looks!?!? So how do you get over that fear of starting a new sketchbook? Do you just dive in and start drawing? painting? I'd love to know your ideas. Because for some reason, I'm just keep looking at this blank book and thinking what if I mess it up? What if it looks like something that a really little kid might draw?

I learned about the Sketchbook project from my Creative Coconut friend, Bel Fireman. She just had the opportunity to visit the home of the collection of completed sketchbooks from last year at the Brooklyn Art Library. Take a hop over to her last blog post The Real-Life Sketchbook Project to read about her visit. She created an amazing sketchbook for last years project. You can take a look at the digital version of her sketchbook here. Bel was also my featured artist last year if you'd like to read more about her incredible artwork, check out the post here.

If you'd like to sign up to be a part of the Sketchbook project, visit their website at the Art House Coop to sign up. Then I won't be the only one staring at a blank sketchbook, we can stare together!

I think I need to remember this quote of Madi's when I sit down to draw today. I will be sharing my sketchbook journey with you along the way. So stay tuned for a new Page 1!

"Drawing is still magic." by  Madi

Monday, October 10, 2011

I Won! I Won! I Won!

I am so excited! I won a free Registration to the online Art Class Life Book! Connie from Dirty Footprints Studio blog had a contest last week for the freebie & my comment was picked!!! The class looks like so much fun, pop over to Willowing Arts and take a look at all the details.  Registration for this fun class just started this month. 

Here's a little information that I found on the website:

"What's Life Book All About?
Life Book is a year long course organized by Tamara Laporte (Willowing Arts) starting on 1st January 2012.
The idea of the course is that participants will be creating one or more mixed media pages each month which by the end of the year they will bind together in one big book (likely to be Japanese stab-bound). The theme of the course, as the title suggests, is a celebration and honouring of self. Each month will have a different self- celebration/ honouring theme which will be worked through in the page(s) with all sorts of mixed media techniques and self-healing/ self-development exercises.
By the end of the year you will have a gorgeous mixed media art journal (or Life Book) which captures your journey, growth and development in 2012!"

I am currently enrolled in another wonderful mixed media class called 21 Secrets.  I just spent a few hours on Friday night reviewing a drawing lesson from the fantastic teacher, Jane Davenport. To find out more about Jane read my Artist of the Month post for March.

Here are a few of my sketches from my drawing session with Jane.

I love drawing faces. There is something so magical about them. I am really looking forward to next years new art class Life Book!

"Exciting things are also exciting for others." by Madi

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Artist of the Month - Yvonne Malone

Apron Strings
This month's artist, Yvonne Malone expresses her creativity through beautiful colors and patterns.  Yvonne designs quilts, pillows, wall hangings and other textiles in her Chicago based studio where she lives with her family. Yvonne's children are just about the same age as mine; she has a son who is 15 and a girl that is 10. So, I know first hand what it's like trying to find time to create while keeping busy with two active children.

One of the most interesting things that I found about Yvonne's work are the great stories that go along with her amazing work. Each quilt that she designs has it's own story to tell.
Nested Boxes
This quilt has a sweet story;

"Have you ever been the recipient of a small gift that was packaged in many larger boxes, each wrapped to make you think you had finally reached the gift? Many years ago my grandfather gave my grandmother her engagement ring -- 50 years after their marriage -- packaged this way. She was laughing hard by the time she got to the tiny box, but let out a small gasp when she opened that box and saw the ring. As they say, the look on her face was priceless -- as was my grandfather’s delight."

When I asked Yvonne about her wonderful stories that go along with her quilts, she said:

"Sometimes my quilts begin with a story, my own or a client’s.  I love talking with people and listening to their stories about their life – family, work, travels, and other experiences.  With my quilts, I take something from that story and turn it into something visual.  For example, I recently completed three quilts for a family using the beautiful cotton shirts of their late husband and father. The first step was to sit down and ask them to tell me a bit about him.  He was a printer and appreciated quality in everything he did; one of the quilts took its cue from the printing presses he worked on.  When I look at art, architecture, gardens, I am always interested in the inspiration behind the finished project, so I decided to include those back stories on my website as well."

Line up the boxes

"The inspiration for this quilt came about when I saw a delivery person unloading his truck, searching for the right package.  Boxes were scattered about the sidewalk -- I simply organized them into neat rows and colored the boxes red for this quilt!"

Bands of Color
 Yvonne's quilts just seem to be the perfect blend of colors and patterns. She somehow manages to find that just right combination.  I asked her to explain her creative process and here is what she had to say;

"When I walk and look at buildings, gardens, etc., I appreciate what is before me for what it is, but I also see quilt patterns, color schemes, and quilting lines.  I try to sketch every day, even if only for a few minutes so that I can capture some of those patterns, write notes about color combinations and proportions, and jot down ideas about how I might translate the image into a quilt.  When I am ready to start a new project, I look back at those sketches – there are always several that I am particularly excited about – and start tweaking the idea.  Usually I start with pencil and paper, but may move to the computer – which is why every project seems to have a paper and electronic file, neither of which are complete by themselves!"

"Once I have the idea sketched out in black and white, I start playing with color, again sometimes with colored pencils, sometimes on the computer.  Then, I start pulling out fabrics and turning my studio on end!  Once I settle on fabrics I believe will work, I lay out and sew a sample block; this allows me to further refine fabrics and block dimensions.  Once everything is finalized, I begin making the quilt."

Cross Stitch
I remember when I first started drawing Zentangle, it seemed that patterns were everywhere. I can just imagine how Yvonne views the world. It's apparent in her detailed and creative work that she has a knack for seeing things that the rest of us may be missing. This ability to find the patterns in the world and translate them through her creative process is definitely a gift.

Pillows and Shams
Yvonne designs and creates custom pillows and shams to coordinate with her quilts. She is also beginning to write and publish patterns. In the next few weeks she will be introducing the first in a series of small quilt designs and quilts.

When I asked Yvonne what her most and least favorite part of her creative process is, here is what she had to say:

"The most favorite part of the work process for me is always at the beginning to middle of a project – from the design phase through the point where the quilt is coming together as you hoped it would.  It sounds easy here and sometimes it is, but more often than not, there are a lot of hours spent auditioning fabrics, looking at blocks up on the design wall, and playing with the design. My least favorite part is preparing the finished quilt top for quilting – the part where I am trimming any long threads and picking off stray ones so that they don’t show in the finished quilt; a very tedious process."

Look and Find

The Look and Find quilt is a great idea for a baby gift. The quilt will not only provide warmth and comfort for a child but also will provide hours of entertainment playing look and find games. "Can you find the bumblebee on the quilt?" How fun and original!

Yvonne is very excited to be a contributor for a book being released this fall. In late October, early November, the new book, Modern Blocks:  99 Quilt Blocks from Your Favorite Designers will arrive at quilt shops, bookstores, and online retailers.

If you would like to learn more about Yvonne and her beautiful work, visit her website Yvonne Malone Studios and her blog Playing With Fabric.  I hope that you enjoyed the Artist of the Month post!

"Find the pattern of Life." by Madi